Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Parent message regarding PSAT, grades, and Parent Conferences

This message is a repeat of the robocall message that just went out - for your information:

We are so proud of the high number of students who chose to challenge themselves by taking the PSAT in grades 9, 10, and 11.  We are confident this will help prepare you for other national tests with the feedback you will receive!  This is to remind students and parents that we are administering the PSAT tomorrow, Wednesday, 10/19.  All students who are testing should report directly to their testing area assigned when they did their pre-fill session at 9:00 a.m., or as soon as they arrive on campus.  Testing must start at exactly 9:30.  Those not testing will report to their regular N1 class (except those located in the Depot STEM space, which will report to Commons).  N1 block will run from 9:30 - 12:00.  If you have a Digital Lab or Dual Enrollment, note the schedule below.  Thank you for your cooperation.
Wednesday's schedule
N19:30 - 12:00
Lunch for non-testing students12:00 - 12:45
Lunch for all testing students12:45 - 1:30
N21:35 - 2:30
N32:35 - 3:30
N43:35 - 4:30

Grades:  Grades for the first 9 weeks grading period had a technology snag and will not be posted as final until Wednesday, 10/19, at 4:30 p.m.  Keep in mind this is an interim progress report.  It is reported to give you a pulse check on where you are.  Use the information to take advantage of help from teachers in tutoring Genius Hours, pairing up with study buddies during a Digital Lab, requesting a Peer Tutor from Mr. Childers during a Digital Lab, or checking your Canvas class pages to see what you might be missing.  We'll be updating our Gryphon Guild honor rolls in the Commons area the first of next week.

Parent Conferences:  We had originally published scheduled parent conference nights for this school year (one in the fall and one in the spring).  But we are the L&N - we constantly study what we're doing and develop new prototypes.  After conferring with teachers and a parent focus group that met on Sept 8, we have cancelled scheduled parent conference nights at our school.
  • Here's why - we see parents as a vital part of the 3-legged stool that supports your student's learning.  The student is the first leg - he or she is responsible for owning their learning and being an active participant.  Teachers are the second leg - they design lessons to engage and inform students about the content.  Parents are the third leg - your role is to help bridge the gap between school and home.  
  • If your student is struggling, the first step is ask what they are doing to help themselves and if they've contacted/talked to their teachers.  The next step is to inform yourself of the help available - which you can find on the guidance page of our website.  The last step is to reach out to teachers via email or by school phone to discuss how you can support what they are doing with your student.  
  • This is a discussion that should go on all year long when your student needs it - not at a designated point in time chosen by the school.  We want you to be able to reach out when your student is ready for it, whenever that happens.  And it is a two-way communication - we expect teachers to reach out to you when they see a student struggle.  
We believe this "open communication" is much more aligned to our mission to "Inspire learning, Empower students, and Impact the world" because it is more personalized to individual needs.  This is in addition to the fact that with eight teachers at a time, parents could not see all teachers in one evening.  So please reach out to teachers; and if you want to see them all at once, please reach out to your student's counselor (lori.morrell@knoxschools.org for last names A - J, or elishia.basner@knoxschools.org for last names K - Z) to let them assist in coordination.

One last reminder - the Worlds Fair Park Drive will be closed off this Wednesday afternoon for a function and Friday afternoon as they set up for the Komen Race on Saturday.  There will be gates up so parents will not even be able to drive past the park on the Holiday Inn side.  Please arrange for an alternate pick up location for your student on Wednesday and Friday.

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